A Santa Monica man who managed young entertainers was charged Thursday with multiple counts of child sex abuse.
Investigators said that for three years, Martin Weiss, 47, sexually assaulted an aspiring singer at Weiss' Santa Monica home starting when the boy was 11 years old.
Weiss, a self-employed talent agent specializing in child actors, has been operating his business out of his home in Santa Monica for the past 14 years, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
In a press release, the LAPD said that prior to his talent agency business, Weiss earned a living renting himself out as a costumed character for children's parties with costumes ranging from cartoon characters to the Easter Bunny.
About a week ago an 18-year-old man who was a prior client of Weiss' came forward with allegations that Weiss had repeatedly molested him over a three-year period between 2005 and 2008.
The alleged abuse reportedly occurred at a residence in Woodland Hills as well as at Weiss' residence in Santa Monica.
On Tuesday, Weiss was arrested by the LAPD. He was being held Thursday on three counts of sodomy of a person under 16, two counts each of lewd act upon a child and continuous sexual abuse and one count of forcible lewd act upon a child.
According to City News Service, Weiss pleaded not guilty to the charges and is jailed on $800,000 bail pending his next appearance Dec. 13 in Van Nuys Superior Court.
Weiss owns Santa Monica-based Martin Weiss Management. The business' website states that Weiss became a fulltime manager in the 1990s, representing children who have appeared in TV commercials and popular cable shows such as those on the Disney Channel.
"Weiss prides himself on his abilities to communicate with his young clients ... He works only with serious, dedicated actors who not only pursue their craft with vigor, they enjoy doing so ... and he enjoys working with them," the website states.
According to the LAPD, the victim said he had kept the molestation a secret until now because he feared the disclosure would damage his reputation in the industry and traumatize his family.
"He finally came forward out of concern Weiss may be victimizing others," the LAPD said in a press release. "Investigators share the victim's concerns and are requesting anyone else who may have been assaulted by Weiss to come forward."
If convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum sentence of 34 years in state prison.